Blog Post By Casey Manning

Measure this

One of the many things that Casey Trees does well is monitor D.C.’s urban forest. We do this through a combination of activities including an assessment of 201 field plots located across D.C. every five years.

This quinquennial exercise is quite the undertaking.

First, the 201 field plots were selected using randomized gridding. What that means is that we put a grid over a map of D.C. and a computer chose about one plot for every 196 acres. Since the plots are randomly distributed, only a small number of them are on publicly accessible land. The vast majority of the plots are on privately owned land or have restricted access which requires us to seek out and secure permission to access the land.

Second, this exercise is very much a boots on the ground operation.  While tree coverage is assessed using aerial imagery, this exercise requires the training up to 100 volunteers to travel to the 201 plots and properly collect and log the data.

Third, the collected data is run through a number of different models that look at the economic value of trees such as carbon storage and sequestration values. Those results are then incorporated into a paper detailing the current state of the District’s forest.

Now that you know the entire process, we’d love for you to be part of it.

In late May, we will be hosting two workshops to train up individuals interested in spending some of their summer outdoors in the field identifying and measuring trees, assessing the site and recording their findings.

This is a great opportunity for those looking to get involved in a Citizen Science project whose efforts will be reflected in a publishable scientific paper, hone their tree identification and measurement skills and explore different parts of the District.


Citizen Science Training: Tree Measurement Study

There are two workshop offerings — choose only one. If neither of these dates are convenient, keep an eye out for a third training that will be offered in June.

Thursday, May 28
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 30
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Casey Trees Headquarters Annex
3015 12th Street NE

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